It’s a good thing God isn’t like us. So often we find ourselves being unfaithful to Him. We ignore or subvert His commands. We give in to our sinful nature and do the very things we know we ought not do. Or worse yet, we choose not to do that which we are expected to do. If God wasn’t faithful to us, if He didn’t keep the promises He has made to us, we’d be done for. He remains faithful and He keeps those promises not because we’re anything special, but because He is. Stop and think about that for a second. God’s faithfulness isn’t tied to us in any way. It is tied to His nature and His character and as a result, His faithfulness is perfect, even when ours is far from it.
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
It is good for a man that he bear
the yoke in his youth.
– Lamentations 3:22-27, ESV
One of the things that the Enemy likes to do is bring back up our mistakes, our missteps, our sin. He loves how it makes us think less of ourselves, as we get swallowed up by the guilt, by the memory of the pain we’ve caused or the wrongs we’ve done or the opportunities we’ve missed. He knows that so long as we’re dwelling on our past faults, we’re not moving forward in the present. This isn’t to minimize or reduce sin. Sin is so horrendous we could not overcome even a single one. Without God’s intervention, our committing sin comes with the punishment of eternal damnation. Sin isn’t something to be forgotten about or laughed away. Sin must be repented of and turned away from. However, the thing we must remember is sin is trumped by grace. As bad as we are, God is infinitely more good.
That’s what Jeremiah was writing about here. Jerusalem, in fact, the whole nation of Judah, was subjugated because of its sin. It was carried off into exile. It reaped the consequences of its many sins. However, we find right in the midst of the laments for Judah’s state this set of verses. God’s love never ceases. His mercies never end. Our hope is in the Lord. God is good for those waiting on Him. How can a prophet like Jeremiah go from the destruction of Judah to such praise? It’s really easy: Judah’s fate was temporary. It would end. And Judah’s fate didn’t necessarily reflect the fate of the man who trusted in and loved God. For those who love God, Jeremiah’s words still ring true today: He is good for us. Why? Because He is faithful. His love and mercy doesn’t fail nor do they end. We can place our hope, not a wishful hope but a quiet confidence based on faith, that He will deliver. Why? Because He is faithful. But there’s a catch: we must seek Him.
That means remembering the Lord’s faithfulness over our own unfaithfulness. It means not wallowing in our sins and allowing self-pity to creep in. It means taking God at His word to forgive and forget if we repent and turn away from sin. It means remembering that God will make everything for the good of those whom He has called (Romans 8:28). His unshakeable faithfulness and love is worthy of our praise, our thanks, and our prayers. When we falter, He does not. Just as the Son has promised a place with Him in the future, God the Holy Spirit has promised to remain with us even now. He doesn’t depart. He doesn’t desert. He remains. He prays. He loves. He guides. Why? Because He is faithful. He is always faithful. Don’t we serve an awesome God?